National Research Council study on meat testing requirements doesn’t yield safer beef | TSLN.com

National Research Council study on meat testing requirements doesn’t yield safer beef

There is no scientific evidence that more stringent testing of meat purchased through USDA’s ground beef purchase program and distributed to various food and nutrition programs – including the National School Lunch program – would lead to safer meat. That’s the conclusion of a new USDA-sponsored study, done by the National Research Council.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) buys the ground beef. In assessing AMS’s beef purchase program, the study said that already-validated cooking processes provide greater assurance of ground beef’s safety than would additional testing for pathogens. The study’s analysis of the number of illnesses since 1998 linked with AMS ground beef purchases provided to schools suggests disease outbreaks were rare events even before AMS requirements from suppliers became more stringent in February. No recorded outbreaks of E. coli or salmonella associated with AMS ground beef have occurred in more than a decade.

The report said preventing future outbreaks will depend on eliminating contamination during production, and ensuring meat is properly handled, stored and cooked before it is served.

There is no scientific evidence that more stringent testing of meat purchased through USDA’s ground beef purchase program and distributed to various food and nutrition programs – including the National School Lunch program – would lead to safer meat. That’s the conclusion of a new USDA-sponsored study, done by the National Research Council.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) buys the ground beef. In assessing AMS’s beef purchase program, the study said that already-validated cooking processes provide greater assurance of ground beef’s safety than would additional testing for pathogens. The study’s analysis of the number of illnesses since 1998 linked with AMS ground beef purchases provided to schools suggests disease outbreaks were rare events even before AMS requirements from suppliers became more stringent in February. No recorded outbreaks of E. coli or salmonella associated with AMS ground beef have occurred in more than a decade.

The report said preventing future outbreaks will depend on eliminating contamination during production, and ensuring meat is properly handled, stored and cooked before it is served.

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